Monday, November 3, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? :: November 3, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey.  Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers have adapted it to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.

Can you believe it's actually November already? Where did this year go? 

This week, I'm currently reading:

I read A Wrinkle in Time in my 6th grade class and it was the only book (that I can remember) not enjoying because I was so confused by all the sci-fi things. It was probably my first sci-fi ever too. I've had my eye on the graphic novel version and figured that maybe rereading it as an adult WITH pictures might give me a different perspective and appreciation of the story. Wish me luck. I'm trying to read it slowly to not rush through or miss anything. 

My friends and I are starting a book club (FINALLY) and we're going to attempt to read books mentioned in Gilmore Girls (also known as the Rory Gilmore Book Challenge). The first one we chose was vetoed by me because the first few paragraphs made my head spin, but we decided on Beloved instead. Maybe I should start reading it since we're meeting next week? #procrastinator

The size of this book fits very well on the bottom of my current TBR pile. This is NOT a good thing. 

What are you reading this week? 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Five on Friday :: October 31, 2014

Trying out a new meme this week. These memes do seem to get me blogging more than I would otherwise though! So here goes...

1) Loved this quote I found via Penguin Books. I love reading children's books and it's so true!

2) A few months ago, Amazon released that apparently San Diego is the most well-read major city in America according to their data on sales on all books, magazines, newspapers (in both print and e-format). Not sure how accurate this data is, but I'll take the title. Either that or we're spending way too much money on Amazon. #guiltyascharged

3) Watching the show, Sherlock, has led to a little (read: big) crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. British accent? Check! Intelligent? Check! Plays sexy, smart, and charming book characters?! CHECK!!!! (Apparently, I've missed him in many other movies thought (like The Other Boleyn Girl). Time for a re-watch!)

4) I like to think that I gave my girls some really sweet vintage girl names with Lily and Audrey. However, I don't think I could get behind any of these 14 vintage girl names waiting to be rediscovered. Odessa? Winifred? Maybe, Polly... but Delphine? Nope.

5) People often ask if Adam and I want to have another kid. Reading this article really has my questioning whether another child is really in our destiny or not. Here's 22 ways that having three kids is different from having 2. We'll see what God has planned. :)

Blog Tour & Review :: The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

Title: The Daughter of Highland Hall
Author: Carrie Turansky
Publisher: Multnomah Books (October 2014)

Source: Received from publisher via LitFuse Publicity Group

Buy book: here
About the Book:
What if the title, the estate, the life of security and splendor… what if it isn’t enough? 
Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain’s elite.
When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, forcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London’s East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love—and if she will choose a life serving others over one where she is served.
Ever since I started watching Downton Abbey (and I was late to start watching the show), I've been hooked on everything similar to it (books, movies, TV shows). This book definitely help to fuel the fire! Thankfully because I am so familiar with Downton Abbey, it made it a whole lot easier to understand Edwardian England and it's customs, especially regarding the social season. I am also a huge fan of Call the Midwife, so it helped me to understand the London East End and the contrast between the two different societies.

I did not read the first book The Governess of Highland Hall, but this book could easily stand-alone. I appreciate when authors help to fill in the gaps for you. I may have to go back to read the first one before I read the third one next year.

This coming-of-age story starts with Kate getting ready to be debuted this social season and I couldn't help but picture Mary from Downton Abbey in my head. She is being presented to the King and Queen and her aunt is determined to find her the right man to propose to her by the end of the season. Turansky does an excellent job of including lots of details in her writing to really help bring the story to life and I loved living and experience Kate's world while reading this book.

What is so fascinating about this time period is that you can't help but drawn into the romance of the era and the dynamics between the upper class and the serving class. At the beginning of the story, Kate's world was very black and white, but as the story progresses, you follow her as she struggles through a more "grey area" of life, between what's right and wrong, especially what's right and wrong for her. This includes her journey in not only her social awakening, but a spiritual one as well. Kate struggles with doing what society wants of her, what she thinks God's plan is for her life, and what she wants for herself.

This book begs to be a movie! Or a mini-series, perhaps? Can't wait for the next one!

4 out of 5 stars

About the author:

Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas, including Surrendered HeartsSnowflake Sweethearts, and Along Came Love. She has been the recipient of the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award. Turansky’s first historical fiction novel, and the first in the Edwardian Brides series, The Governess of Highland Hall, is a 2014 Carol Award finalist. While Turansky has been writing articles, devotions and essays since 1999, writing fiction is her passion, and she’s thankful for the creative ideas God has put into her mind and heart.
Turansky was born and raised in Oregon but currently lives in central New Jersey with her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, counselor and the author of several parenting books. They have five adult children, two lovely daughters-in-law, a wonderful son-in-law and four adorable grandchildren. The Turanskys partner in ministry at Calvary Chapel Living Hope, a church they helped plant along with a team of hardworking, Jesus-following friends.
When she’s not writing Turansky enjoys spending time with her family, working outside in her flower gardens, cooking healthy meals for family and friends, or walking around the lake near her home.
To keep up with Carrie Turansky, visit, become a fan on Facebook (AuthorCarrieTuransky) or follow her on Twitter (@CarrieTuransky) and Pinterest (CarrieTuransky).

Monday, October 27, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? :: October 27, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey.  Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers have adapted it to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.

Just finished: 

I finished this over the weekend. The good thing about borrowing books from the library is that it forces me to finish a book by a deadline. I have to admit that I'm also a little bit obsessed with the beautiful cover design of this book... well, I'm kind of obsessed with all of the covers over at Chronicle Books. ;)

I've been on a graphic novel kick lately too. I think, similar to the kid lit, it's short, quick, and easy to read. Plus, it's always nice to get lost in a book full of colorful, pretty pictures... even as an adult. 

This week, I'm currently reading:

I finally also started this book that I received from Litfuse. I will have my review up before the end of the week. This should definitely be filed under, "girls in pretty dresses," which should be it's own genre at this point, because seriously, don't you just LOVE the cover?!

Didn't get to read this at all last week, but I'm hoping to at least read one chapter this week. 

What are you reading this week? 

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? :: October 20, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey.  Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers have adapted it to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.

Finishing up the series this week!

This week, I'm currently reading:

I also forgot to mention that I've been reading this for work for several months now:

What are you reading this week? 

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